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Format of a Formal Report

Kanika Khara Jul 17, 2020
Need to write a formal report for a project but not sure how to format it? If so, then here is some help. Refer to the format given in the following sections to draft one for yourself.
A formal report is a methodical presentation of a subject or action, which includes summaries of important points as well as appendices of tangential and secondary points.
In simple words, it is used to formally document the outcome of an experiment, a design, or information which can provide readers a clear understanding of why and how the experiment or action is done, and what it concludes.
Apart from readers understanding, a formal report is also prepared in order to record everything related to a particular experiment, so that one can review and brush up his/her concepts for future use.
A formal report can be used in various domains, like academics, business report writing, government or federal investigations, medical reports, etc. So, if you are trying to prepare a formal report, but groping in the dark for the right words and format, then here are some simple guidelines.

Recommended Format

Cover Page

This is similar to the outer cover of a book, which should contain the name of the experiment or subject, your name and other team members, and date of report submission. The paper or material used for the cover paper should be slightly thicker than the other pages.

Letter of Transmittal

The letter of transmittal is used to provide a brief insight about the context of the report, and highlight specific sections which should be studied properly by the reader.

Title Page

This page mainly includes the complete report title, name of the person submitting it, names of the other team members, the organization publishing the report, and date of submission.

Table of Contents

The table of contents is an outline of the content presented in the report. It serves as a complete guide, which includes the lists of figures and tables given in the report, and specifies how various topics are covered. Hence, ensure that the wordings of the content in this section are exactly similar to the headings and the sub-headings of the report.


The abstract or summary is basically a brief insight about the entire report. Hence, it should include points like the objective of the report, procedure, results, and conclusion. The information should be clear and precise, and should not be very long. It can be just 1 or 2 paragraphs in length.


The next part is the introduction, which provides the reader a basic knowledge about your project or experiment, as well as background information or facts from the past research.

Body of Report

This is the main part of the report, which explains in detail about what you have mentioned in your introduction, and provides necessary statistics, research, or information to support your research. Hence, this part should be explained in detail, so that the reader understands thoroughly what your report is trying to express or impart.


The conclusion is nothing but the synopsis of the report, which should include a summary of the work done, and the facts and results developed in the body of the report.


The recommendations basically include some specific definite proposals for future work based on your research and conclusion. These recommendations need to be explained properly, so that the reader gets enough information to evaluate them, and draw a personalized conclusion.


This is the last part of the report, which comprises the list of resources like books, articles, websites, publications, etc., that have helped you in your research work.
Keep in mind what your readers expect from you, write your report, and follow a writing style that explains your project in a simple way.